Capital Area Multi Modal Gateway

edited April 2014 in Lansing
I thought it was about time to give this project it's own thread. Anyway, this is rather embarrassing:
EAST LANSING — A new rail and bus station in East Lansing will take longer to build than planned because construction bids came in nearly $2 million over budget.

The $10.5 million project, which would replace the city’s 40-year-old train station near Harrison and Trowbridge roads, will be sent out for new bids after contractors said the work would cost more than the station’s $5 million construction budget, officials said.

Plans have been revised. Officials said they now hope the building will be “substantially complete” by mid-August 2015, said Lori Mullins, East Lansing’s community and economic development administrator.

Demolition of the existing station had been expected to start before the end of 2013, with construction of the new building to start this spring.


Capital Area Transportation Authority, which manages the station, said adjacent buildings that formerly housed recycling operations for Michigan State University are scheduled to be torn down in mid-July, with construction planned for mid-September.


A portion of the grant already has been used for design and engineering work, leaving $5 million available for construction, said Debbie Alexander, CATA’s assistant executive director.

The low bidder, Grand Rapids’ Beckering Construction Inc., said it could do the work for nearly $6.9 million, CATA said.

Two local contractors — Delhi Township-based Laux Construction & Homes and Moore Trosper Construction Co., of Holt — bid $7.5million and $9 million, respectively.

CATA officials adjusted the project to keep costs down, Alexander said. Plans called for demolishing the existing station before building a new one and opening a temporary station for passengers, but CATA officials decided that would have been too costly.


New bids are due May 21.

I hope this facility doesn't get downgraded in size.


  • Yeah, I don't know why (or if it is normal) that half of the money was spent on the design and engineering work.
  • It'd be sad to see it get downsized or anything like that, it looked like a pretty modest design to begin with. I don't get why MSU or anyone else wont kick in some money, at only $5 million it wouldn't take much to make a difference.
  • edited April 2014
    Yeah, I was always kind of surprised at just how much the actual station building made up the "station" site. The vast majority of the site seems to be given over to driveways and platforms for the inter-city buses and such with the station look dangerously bigger than what's currently there.

    Anyway, I think Grand Rapids did fairly well with their current station, and it appears that they did it with even less money, so I still have a bit of hope. I thinking Grand Rapids project even included the construction of new trackage to get to the new location, thoough, I'm not sure the sub $5 million price tag also includes the new trackage.
  • I'm also quite surprised at how small the new station seems to be in maps - smaller than the current, already too-small station? My other concern - which I cannot seem to get anyone to answer - is whether the new station will have interior seating open 24/7. As you might know, the current station does have a (too-small) vestibule which is very much appreciated during the winter months that is available even when the station is unstaffed (i.e., most of the time). I have a great fear that the new station will do away with this entirely.

    Just took the train a few days ago and the conductor said that East Lansing is the busiest stop on the Blue Water route. From what I've seen (mainly traveling west) it also has the worst station on the Blue Water route - we do need to improve it in a bad way.
  • It must be remembered that while the existing station building may be bigger than the new station building (though, I have no information on the square footage of either), it could very well be that the new station building ends up being physically smaller than the current one, and yet still have more public space since not all of the current station building is used by Amtrak or at least for passengers. I'd also like to know if they'll have a 24/7 indoor waiting area, though I do can not imagine that it wouldn't if the current one does.

    BTW, taking out the Chicago terminus, it's possible the Kalamazoo station has the highest ridership on the line, but I'd really have to dig into the numbers since Kalamazoo serves both the Blue Water and Wolverine lines.
  • I just noticed that CATA has a more recent site plan for the station: station/Multi-Modal-Gateway_ConceptPlan.pdf

    My only real disappointment with this for the moment is that CATA and Amtrak weren't able to get ownership/control of the actual platform, so that's not part of the reconstruction, and it's really in rough shape.
  • edited December 2014
    In reply to,

    It's going to be *very* hard for Amtrak to ever get downtown. The right-of-ways don't exist, and CSX and CN have no reasons to extend rail to downtown. I think the closest that could get would be the rails that go to the automotive factories and the BWL Eckert power plant. I'm not sure who owns those rail lines though. Not to mention, many of them deadend at the factories, so it will be out of the way to send a passenger train up there and then back.
  • What rail is that use to exist at the old depot in reotown or where claras is in the sparrow district?
  • edited December 2014
    Pere Marquette is basically the eastern edge of downtown, formally. I don't think a rail station has to be in the middle of the CBD to be successful; many central train stations worldwide aren't immediately in the center of their downtowns/city centers, and are actually usually along the edge. But it would not be hard, at all, at least in the technical sense to run a service to "downtown" along the CSX tracks which make up the eastern edge of downtown. The station could be along that parking lot south and across the street from Claras or the empty land immediately north of Clara's.

    Before the BWL took over, I was wanting the current plant site down in REO Town to be used for a Lansing stop along the CN line. In fact, you could still have a station across the street where there is that surface lot, currently. As long as you have bus and tax service to the facility, you don't need a station in the middle of the CBD.
  • I think by claras or reotown both could be successful. I believe someone mentioned before about a possibility of have a rail or light rail shuttle to and from old town and reotown, by the way of downtown. I think this would be a good idea. The only hiccup would be, is there a north/south track running to reotown?
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